Ask Troppo’s Love Gods: cads ‘r’ us

I’m beginning to have serious reservations about whether we did the right thing in letting these Love Gods loose on Samantha Brett’s unsuspecting lovelorn readers.  Poor Shami, tender ego shrivelled and crushed underfoot!  But did that stop our Love Gods?   Oyster and bacon nibbles indeed. And prescribing experimental drugs!  I mean, look what happened to that confused actor chappie Heath Ledger.   As for that dreadful Ringschott, he’s beyond the pale.  Telling poor Shami he’s a loser who should just change his name to Wayne. Dr Troppo’s Receptionist will hear about this.   What if Shami hurls himself in front of the 8:35 express from Werribee?

Hang on.  I’ve just looked at Ask Sam’s reader problem for this week, and I’m feeling much better now.  This bloke is anything but a delicate little blossom, a 45 year old lawyer no less:

“Am I a player?” asks Moz, a 45-year-old male reader who describes himself as “a barrister, consider myself smart, fit and good looking – oh and only a little arrogant,” and who is single and looking for love.

He writes this to me in an email:

“I’ve been on RSVP sporadically over the last 2 years and have quickly met some great women (not all from there but most are) who I quickly shag, but then quickly feel they are not the ‘one’ and, not wanting to lead them on, even though the sex is great (and no, unlike the meeting, shagging and ending, that’s not quick!) I tell them I don’t want to continue…

“There have probably been 6 or so like this over that time, none at the same time, many for two – three weeks, some as long as a few months – the latter ending more because the women became a little too, understandably from their point of view, as objectively things were going well, ‘serious’. Which for me meant I should end it then as there was always ‘something’ – even though I was enjoying the company and given time I might see there was no real problem. However, I trusted my gut and told myself its best to end it.

“A good girlfriend says I’m being too choosy and always finding little faults:

  • she is kinda big (no, she is average – just larger that my skinny ex..)
  • she is too serious too soon (no, after a couple months of near constant contact, weekends away with kids etc., she starts making plans into the future like a holiday together, so nothing big).
  • she has droopy breasts (this was one of the shorter relationships… otherwise beautiful, funny, intelligent woman)

“Ok, so I have all sorts of problems – I’m shallow, not over my ex? Commitment phobia? maybe, although I don’t think so, it is besides the point – does it make me a Player?

“Does dating, shagging and then calling it within a couple of weeks/months because you can’t see ‘the’ future, mean you’re a player? Sure there are guys out there who just want the sex but I believe there would be many men like me who are labelled as Players who don’t think they are – or are we?

Do I detect a whiff of masochism along with the evident sadism?  An exhibitionist at any price?  What sort of advice does this joker imagine he’s going to get even from Sam’s readers, let alone our Love Gods?  Anyway, we’ll see over the fold:


Dr. Troppo (and receptionist)

Moz, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I understand that it’s an issue for many single women of a certain age. I’d like to talk with the ladies now so you are excused. My receptionist will see you to the door until the next Love God is ready to see you.

Now, where were we? Oh yes, the ladies.

If you’re a single woman in your mid to late thirties and looking for a long term relationship you’ve probably met them all. And if your biological clock is ticking you don’t have time for men who aren’t prepared to get serious. Here’s a quick run down on four types of men you need to avoid and how you can identify them.

The Player

Usually a fit, good looking guy with a high status job, the player wants to know that he’s still attractive to women. Every new relationship is a test and he’s looking for conventionally attractive women who will reassure him that he’s still got what it takes. If you’re a 7 to 10 on the mature-babe-scale and you’ve got a weakness for good looking professional men then you’re at risk.

The Player won’t bother with you unless he thinks you’re really interested. Once that’s established then it’s all systems go — you’ll be in the sack in no time. He wants you to brag about him to your friends so he’ll make an effort to impress. You’ll eat in great restaurants, see fabulous shows, and have terrific weekends away.

Things will come unstuck when you try to move beyond the wining and dining stage and try to introduce him to your parents, suggest that you move in together or ask him whether he thinks that Kevin and Julia would be good names for a baby. Once you try to start a serious relationship the test is over. He’s passed and it’s time to move on.

The Nice Older Man

The NOM is older than you’d prefer but he’s probably the most emotionally together guy you’ve ever been with. In his fifties or early sixties, he’s achieved what he wanted from his career, his kids have left home and he’s financially and emotionally secure. If you run into his ex, she’ll tell you he’s a wonderful human being and say — in a matter of fact way — that sometimes things just don’t work out.

Given that the typical NOM is semi-retired, he’s not going to be intimidated by your career success. He’s always got time to proof read your latest report or listen to your war stories from the office. He’s given up his career as a lawyer or senior public servant and is probably running a small winery or perhaps doing consultancy work (when his former colleagues talk him into it).

You and he enjoy each other’s company. And he’s happy to talk about living together. But since he’s already had a wife and family he isn’t interested in getting married or becoming the father of your children. Being the experienced and emotionally secure guy that he is, he’s scrupulous about birth control, determined to leave all his assets to his children, and is immune to your arguments. Of course he’d be sad if you left, but he doesn’t want to stand in the way of your dreams.

The Angry Dad

The AD will talk for hours about the Child Support Agency, how his ex-wife is a malicious bitch who’s turned his children against him. And feminists… don’t start him on feminists.

But apart from this small handful of emotional no-go areas, the AD seems like a great guy. What a pity these subjects always come up after the third glass of red wine.

You’re wondering whether he’s still emotionally raw after his acrimonious break up? That maybe he’ll settle down after a while and be ready to move on? Anything’s possible, but some things aren’t likely.

The Boy Who Never Left Home

The BWNLH seems shy but nice. He’s pleasant enough to look at, has a good job and shares your interests. And after you’ve been going out a while you wonder how he’s managed to stay single for so long.

But no matter how much time you spend together — including some fantastic holidays away — he never shows any interest in taking the next step. Eventually you suggest that his toothbrush is getting lonely and ask him if he’d like to move the rest of his stuff into your place to keep it company. And that’s when you learn the answer to the mystery of his persistent singleness. He likes living with his mum. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and he never has to do any housework. And, while you’re great company, you’re not so wonderful that he’d part with tens of thousands of dollars every year just to be able to smell your breath in the morning and get nagged about not doing dishes. Did you misunderstand? Well, sorry.

Before we finish up here, it seems that my receptionist is keen to say something. I’ll leave you in her capable hands.

THE RECEPTIONIST: Like many of the self-absorbed, over-fed male persons at Club Troppo, the doctor likes to imagine that all women are desperate to find a man, get married and have babies. For some reason he fancies himself as a catch. But if men are really so much in demand, why are internet dating sites overflowing with desperate men? Hmmm?

The truth is, men need women more than women need men. Men struggle because they are unable to establish satisfying relationships outside of marriage and work. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to lead emotionally healthy lives with friends and family members who they can turn to for support.

It’s time some of you emotionally stunted single men wrote in and asked the Love Gods for help. God knows you need it.



Moz is a 45-year-old man, and he wants to know if he is a player. As Moz seems like a thoughtful, mature, intelligent and deep individual, he is entitled to a thoughtful, mature, intelligent and deep answer. Before getting to that thoughtful etc answer, I wanted to point out, apropos of nothing, that player kind of sounds like wanker. 

Moz, you are a 45-year-old man, what the hell are you doing asking a question that would be barely acceptable coming from a pimply teenage boy with a permanent boner and a copy of Neil Strauss’s The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists on his bookshelf (next to all those Star Trek figurines)?

God knows who would see the words “barrister” on a RSVP dating profile and want to contact that person to see if they are nice.     

Stop quickly shagging the ladies (in all senses of the phrase “quickly shagging”) and get to know them first, and incidentally nobody can live up to some romanticised notion of the future or what a perfect partner should be like. Of course, since you are 45-years-old and a barrister, you already knew that.    

As for droopy breasts, it is called growing older, you silly coot. You know, Moz, it is like when things do not stay up like they used to.     

By the way, Moz, if you have to ask others whether you are a player or not, it means you are most definitely not one.   



Dear Moz,

I regret to inform you that Love God is unable to reply to your letter.  Indeed, even following translation from and to every tongue of every tribe and nation, Love God could not get a word in edgeways through your “me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.”  He is also somewhat pre-occupied with an impending class action against RSVP clients for unfair and deceptive acts, practices and promises (and not a few cases of underperformance and oversized packaging).

Consequently, it has fallen to me to tell you that no, you are not a Player. You are, however, about to find out what it means to be a Loser.

saint in a straitjacket
A/g Security Officer, Grade 3
Commission of Social Affairs
Love God Heaven.



I read your letter Moz, and to he honest.  I’m flummoxed.  I’m struggling to see what the problem is.  Is it that you’ve had six different women on the go?  I hate to be the one to tell you this bud, but that’s no world record.  In fact you might do well to stop your worrying about being shallow and all, and start thinking about why you reckon that these numbers are worth bragging about at all.

Bragging has its place,  and done with the right level of boorishness, can be very attractive to the fairer sex. But I’m afraid, the sly way you’re doing this Moz, this handwringing, this concern about being a what?  A player? It’s just not a convincing way to get your score up on the scoreboard.

It’s seems to me Moz that you’re looking for a bit of a pat on the back for your accomplishments to date.  I’m not going to be the one to do that.  You need to have many more notches on your belt before it’ll impress me my friend. 

So here’s my advice.  Practice. Practice. Practice.  And next time you go looking for publicity, ditch the flaky letters to the Newspaper, and turn to a media and celebrity management group.  In the meantime get yourself fitted for a posing pouch and get some professional shots done for your next entries on RSVP.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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13 years ago

Just l-o-o-v-e the Love Gods. As even the barely literate and socially retarded can become barristers these days, even on a good night MOZ (the Gods’ latest victim) was never a catch.
Look forward to the Gods’ next post!

The Devil Drink
The Devil Drink
13 years ago

Never met a lawyer anywhere who didn’t consider themselves smart, fit and good looking. When will we ever read the personal ad “Lawyer, 45, rates himself, ugly as a mangrove mudcrab and just as sweet-smelling”?
Ignore all of the nay-sayers and knockers, MOZ (even if they’re droopy ones). Have a biochemist synthesize your self-esteem and fuckin’ bottle it.

Dr Troppo
Dr Troppo
13 years ago
Dave Bath
13 years ago

Try using beer googles on yourself. It even works for fruit flies. See
Recurring Ethanol Exposure Induces Disinhibited Courtship in Drosophila (PLoS One, 2008-01-02).

Pavlov's Cat
13 years ago

Dear Moz,

You “trust your gut”?

Have you forgotten what your gut is full of?

Lots of love,

13 years ago

Dr Troppo that was truly impressive!

Moz however . . . you sir, are liar and a fool. A Barrister who considers himself smart. No! Really?

13 years ago

From today’s Sam, I think this may be the most distressing sentence I have ever read in print:

There’s brain fellatio, which Lowndes describes as “sucking the dreams, the longings, and the fantasies out of your Quarry, and then creating a lifelong erotic aura that he or she luxuriates in”.